Q&A: Where do Boca SG gubernatorial candidates stand?

Elections will open at midnight on Feb. 25 and close Feb. 26 at 11:59 p.m. on Owl Central.

Jack+Agar%2C+Joshua+Rutledge%2C+Rachelle+Saint+Louis+at+the+meet+the+candidate+event+in+the+SG+House+chambers.+Photo+by+Israel+Fontoura.

Jack Agar, Joshua Rutledge, Rachelle Saint Louis at the meet the candidate event in the SG House chambers. Photo by Israel Fontoura.

Israel Fontoura, Managing Editor

Editor’s note: These answers have been slightly edited for clarity.

Boca governor candidates Rachelle Saint Louis, Joshua Rutledge and Jack Agar gathered to share why they want to be elected and represent over 25,000 students, but only ten students showed up at last night’s meet the candidate’s event in the House chambers. 

Moderated by a graduate student and former Chief Justice Isaiah Moriarity, the candidates spoke about their first items to work on in the office, number one priorities and advocating for students. 

Agar, a junior and House representative, is a member of the Campus Budget Allocation Committee (CBAC) and Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. Rutledge is a sophomore and House speaker and member of Phi Alpha Delta law fraternity. Saint Louis, a senior and former representative, is director of PEP Talk, a Student Government mental health organization.

The debate lasted 25 minutes compared to last year’s hour-long debate and is the only time the candidates are scheduled together to expand on their platforms before campus-wide voting, on Feb. 25 and 26.

What’s one actionable item that you plan to work on immediately if you’re elected?

AGAR: Something I want to start off immediately in office is a gym pass app. So that would be pretty easy. I myself am a management information system major, so I know about coding. Something that would give students recognition and be able to see how much people are in the gym. We all know it’s a problem and it’s constantly filled to the brim to help alleviate the rec [center].

RUTLEDGE: There’s an epidemic on college campuses of date rape, molestation and sexual assault. Studies show that one every five women on college campuses will be assaulted. As a governor, my very first act will be to initiate the war on sexual assault and supply the student body with the weapons with which to fight.

I will order 5,000 Smarts, a straw that changes color when it comes in contact with common date rape drugs such as ecstasy, ketamine, and roofies and distribute them to our fellow Owls. 

We cannot call this place paradise if it’s not paradise for every single person on this campus no matter where they go and what they do.

SAINT LOUIS: Something that I’ve noticed here at FAU is the carpooling program is a disaster, it’s not even a real program here. So something I want to implement is a carpooling program here specifically to the FAU Boca campus and hopefully expand into the Jupiter and Davie campuses as well.

The carpooling program that could basically kill two birds with one stone. We would alleviate some of the issues of parking because I personally will drive my four- or five-seat car by myself and I’m sure a lot of students are doing the same thing because we don’t know people who live in our area. It would help students find new friends and it would also reduce our carbon footprint as a college.

What would be your number one priority?

AGAR: My number one priority has got to have equal representation throughout all Student Government. We have such an incredible and most diverse campus and I want to show that, you know, I also want to leave a really strong legacy. 

RUTLEDGE: My plans of innovating campus transportation, promoting student welfare and diverse representation is all for the betterment of the students. It’s all about making sure that fellow Owls have the best college experience possible. They should go through the day without a worry in the world knowing that someone has their best interest at heart knowing they probably have something an office of properly representing. 

As the Boca Raton campus governor, every month, I will host a town hall in which every [organization], club, and group on campus is invited so that we may discuss the needs of the student body and make sure that everything that can be done is being done. 

Representation will be my priority. I did it as a representative. I’m doing it as Speaker of the House and I will continue to do it as your governance students should be the most important part of student government.

SAINT LOUIS: Something that I really want to focus on as governor is the intersectionality of culture. 

Something that I noticed we have our Caribbean Student Association, we have our Black Student Union, but we’re not focusing on those individual cultures. What about the Trinidad and Tobago community here on campus? What about the Irish community here on campus? I want to focus on our individual cultures and how we can use our different things and like learn from each other, and just have a focus on culture as a whole instead of blending everything into one.

How do you plan to advocate on behalf of the students to which you are elected?

AGAR: Well, if I’m elected something I will incredibly stress is an open door and an open ear policy. I don’t want to make any decisions unless every single group on campus is taken into consideration. With that being said, I want to appoint a cabinet that really reflects the diversity of our great campus.

RUTLEDGE: The most important part of advocating for the students is first let them know that they have a voice and that it is being heard. I will listen to them, I will understand them and I will fight. 

This campus is the most diverse campus in the entire state of Florida. There are many groups and cultures and people but the quantity of diversity is not an excuse for the quality of advocacy. 

SAINT LOUIS: I can advocate on behalf of the students in the same way that I’ve been advocating for the past two years, through real honest connections. 

And something else that I plan to do as governor is attend meetings of student organizations.

I am also somebody who advocates for an open door policy. So even in my office and clubhouse, if you see the doors open, you are welcome to walk in. And usually, students will kind of wander in and maybe they won’t necessarily be looking for PEP talk. But I have no issue starting that conversation with those students and I really do care about what the students have to say.

How do you plan to increase student attendance with athletic events?

AGAR: That’s definitely a problem that we’ve had throughout the years. And something I was thinking or initiative I want to push is to have a marching band, right? You look at all these other schools and they have great tradition, they have chants that day, they bring the crowd into the game, right? I want to leave, like I said, a tradition, a legacy of students who are involved and are like, ready to go out, you know, chants like that.

RUTLEDGE: I believe that it’s all about advertising. It’s all about promotion. So t-shirts, lanyards, letting people know, always being at people’s faces. 

I believe that athletic spirit is part of the soul of FAU. 

I will promote our table for them, I’ll go out and talk to everybody. ‘You can watch the game, you got to come and see this’. It’s the most important thing and I will make sure that everyone knows what’s going on sports, make sure everyone wants to be at these games

SAINT LOUIS: I personally feel like we should spotlight our athletes, especially the athletes who are part of sports that aren’t as looked upon such as basketball and football. I would like to do a either weekly or monthly student-athlete spotlight and I would also like to work with Owl TV to have highlight reels that we post to the Student Government Instagram to bring attention to those sports that aren’t as appreciated.

Something that I’ve noticed that students love is free food, having a ton of free food and free stuff.

How have you served the student body thus far?

AGAR: So as my time in student government, I have had the amazing privilege of going on FSA trips or Florida Student Association trips. 

Throughout my time there I’ve been able to develop a personal relationship with others, Student Government Officials, and elected officials and with that, and what they taught me is what inspired me to run for campus governor. 

I’m not here to make any empty promises and stuff like that ambitious I’ve been pushing currently are all stuff that has been enacted and have been successful at other schools.

RUTLEDGE: I rose up the ranks for where I am now parliamentarian to Speaker of the House now, so, in a year, it was my passion. For students, it was my devotion to representation that got me to where I am now. 

I try to always embody excellence, and everything I do, the best way that I can survive for you is by being a model student. I joined the Leon Charney Diplomacy Program, the National Model United Nations. I’m the treasurer of Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, writer for ULJ (Undergraduate Law Journal). I’m out here just trying to be the best I can be because I was always taught you’ve got to lead by example.

SAINT LOUIS: How I serve the student body this bar is by expanding [PEP Talk]. And when I came into the office, it was kind of it was a very new program and the previous year how much they hadn’t really made their mark on campus. 

This year, we’ve been tabled every single week and we’ve been hosting several events. Mental health in the black community is something that we actually started and we’ve had over 80 students in attendance last semester and over 90 students in attendance this semester. 

We’ve been doing a lot for mental health, and we’ve also been hosting self-care workshops and stuff with organizations here on campus. And we’ve just been really helping our students find those resources. A lot of students didn’t even know that CAPS was free and a service that is readily available that our support groups offer offers, counseling and offers so many other wonderful services. 

Elections will open at midnight on Feb. 25 and close Feb. 26 at 11:59 p.m. on Owl Central.

Israel Fontoura is the managing editor for the University Press. For more information regarding this or other stories, email him at [email protected]il.com